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Indepth Arts News:

"Franz Marc: Horses"
2000-09-29 until 2001-03-18
Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard
Cambridge, MA, USA United States of America

Harvardís Busch-Reisinger Museum will present an exhibition offering an intimate look at Franz Marcís (1880-1916) paintings of horses. Franz Marc: Horses brings together a selection of major works by this German Expressionist master in a special installation that explores the artistís commitment to the spiritual intensity of color in interpreting the natural world. Opening at the Busch-Reisinger Museum on September 29, Franz Marc: Horses is the first exclusive presentation of Marcís work in the United States in over 20 years. The exhibition will remain on view through March 18, 2001.

This concentrated group of six masterworks focuses on the canonical painting The Red Horses (1911), a promised gift currently on long-term loan to the Busch-Reisinger Museum. Other works included in the exhibition are Small Blue Horses (1912) and Small Yellow Horses (1911) from the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Large Blue Horses (1912) from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and two highly significant later paintings from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Stables and The Poor Country of Tyrol, both from 1913. Franz Marc: Horses follows a major presentation of the artistís work on this theme by the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

Franz Marc: Horses will bring these extraordinary paintings together for the first time in the U.S., allowing us to study and appreciate the resonance between Marc's provocative subject matter and abstract use of color, said James Cuno, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard University Art Museums. The Art Museums have a history of providing a platform for scholarship associated with this important artist; in 1941, the Busch-Reisinger Museum hosted the first exhibition in the U.S. devoted to Marc's work. Franz Marc: Horses offers an opportunity for careful examination of a subject that illuminates key aspects of Marc's aesthetic style and artistic evolution. We are grateful to the Friends of the Busch-Reisinger Museum for generously supporting this project.

Franz Marc dedicated a major part of his tragically short life to painting animals, and his mystical depictions of horses today count among the icons of classic modernism. Franz Marc: Horses explores how this cofounder of the Munich-based expressionist Blue Rider group created visionary images evoking his understanding of the pureness and innocence of the animal world. The visitor will also have a sense of the trend toward abstraction in Marcís work in the years before the outbreak of the First World War, during which the artist was then killed. The complementary exhibition The Blue Rider Artists puts Marcís Horses and the greater body of his work into the context of a major movement born in part from his personal artistic motivation.

In conjunction with Franz Marc: Horses, the Busch-Reisinger Museum will publish the English translation of the catalogue for the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart exhibition, with Hatje Cantz Publishers. The catalogue will present major contributions to scholarship on Marc and German Expressionism, including nearly 230 illustrations.

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